GMAT Club

Karen Hamou Reviews

Company: Fortuna Admissions

Karen, a Columbia Business School grad, brings deep consulting and retail industry knowledge and extensive international business experience to the Fortuna team. After graduating from Columbia, Karen joined Deloitte Consulting’s Strategy and Operations practice where she worked on a range of retail projects. While at the firm, she served as Deloitte’s on-campus recruiting representative at CBS, guiding over 130 CBS students through their consulting recruiting process. She also participated in a firm initiative advising junior consultants as they applied to MBA programs. At CBS, Karen was a Teaching Assistant for the core curriculum Managerial Statistics course at CBS’s Saturday EMBA program. She also TAed for the Cornell Johnson EMBA Metro NY program. Karen holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Columbia University, where she also minored in Economics and Spanish. Prior to business school she was a Retail Buyer at Abercrombie & Fitch and Casual Male Retail Group. Karen’s international business experience spans the US, Israel, India, Argentina, China and more. She speaks English, Spanish and Hebrew.

5.0 /5 Average Rating
Based on 35 reviews
June 15, 2022
bythebeach2017

Joined: Jun 15, 2022

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Karen is the best!

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I can’t recommend Karen highly enough. I give my experience with her an A+. She is warm and down to earth. Her passion for helping me was so clearly evident every time we had a session together. Perhaps Karen’s greatest strength is that she makes you think about your story from every angle and helps you craft the best version of yourself. I went into this process thinking I knew how I would respond to each school’s essay prompts, but Karen challenged me to take it multiple levels deeper - something that is essential to having the story stick and having admissions remember you. I got into four of the six schools I applied to, and I can confidently say I wouldn’t have had this success without Karen.

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June 13, 2022
rodrigodelatorre

Joined: Aug 29, 2021

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

No Regrets

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Karen was tremendous to work with—I could not be happier with my decision to partner with her. I truly believe each of us have a special story to tell, and Karen’s guidance in connecting the dots between past, present, and future took my applications to the next level. Additionally, Karen was extremely professional, caring, and honest, making me feel comfortable from the very beginning. In the end, I applied in R3 (she was transparent regarding the challenges I’d face) and received offers from two M7s. If you have the opportunity to work with Karen, do not pass it up!

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July 31, 2021
RnB

Joined: Apr 23, 2020

Posts: 2

Kudos: 2

Awesome coach! Absolutely recommend working with Karen!

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I worked with Karen for almost a year for the 2021 intake application cycle. I would absolutely like to recommend her to MBA aspirants as she is great at what she does and is extremely supportive during the entire application process.

I started talking to Karen long before my GRE - she helped me understand what schools should I aim for, what is the score that would help me get there and motivated me constantly throughout the stressful GRE process.

Over our numerous strategy calls, she was very patient and quick in understanding my journey and why I made certain decisions - she was very quick to understand several technicalities and nuances in my journey and would help distill my experiences and achievements into a structure that would be appreciated by the ADCOMs.

During the peak of the application cycle - she was extremely efficient and time-sensitive! She would provide her review comments and advice very quickly and I could always depend on her for any last minute questions or concerns. Her speed and drive even made me push myself to get a lot more done! I always felt that she was looking after my best interests and even often provided tips and guidance for schools outside my package.

Would 100% recommend to work with her!

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May 16, 2021
biggerfish222

Joined: May 16, 2021

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Karen is such a fantastic coach - I cannot recommend her highly enough!! See below for key reasons why Karen is so fantastic. If you have the chance to work her, do not hesitate!!
1. Consistently shares the WHY (teaches you how to think - not what to think):
1. When I first spoke to Karen, I was on the fence about applying in the 2020-2021 cycle. She recommended that I apply now but I was still skeptical. It was the WHY (the context) she shared that ultimately led me to apply earlier than I originally had in mind.
2. When it came to writing my essays, she stopped me in my tracks when my initial idea was not up to par. She highlighted the ideas that had merit and pushed me to dig much deeper. There was about a month during which Karen continually challenged me to start from my scratch on my main story - when I finally came back with my final version, she confirmed that it was compelling and shared several ideas on how I could build on that theme across my application materials
2. Inspires you to go beyond your limits (takes your performance to the next level):
1. I had some pretty tough times with the GMAT. I was prepared to take it at one point but had to sideline it for months because of a religious commitment. When I took my first in-person test, I scored a bit below the score I wanted and I was crushed. When I IM’d and spoke with Karen, she provided an objective assessment of my score and also was a great sounding board as I thought of what I would do differently in my next attempt. I took the exam again two weeks later and got the score I needed to apply. I only knew that I didn’t need to take it a third time because of Karen’s advice. Karen reviewed my scores and confirmed that my GMAT + above-average GPA would not block me from receiving interviews at any of the HSW - she was right (received interview invites at all 3 in same round + major merit-based scholarship).
2. Lastly, she pushed me to sharpen my communication during interview prep. I went in thinking I was prepared and left with so many ways I could improve beyond what I viewed as “great”. She met with me several times to practice the interview types across HSW and other schools - that timely support made a huge difference.
3. Really cares about seeing you succeed (helps you manage through the highs and lows of the process)
1. Karen was optimistic and supportive throughout the process. I got on numerous calls with her over the nearly 12 months that we worked together. Not many folks knew I was applying to business school and I didn’t have the luxury of applying through a program like MLT, so it made all the difference to have something in my corner whom I could always contact

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January 25, 2021
GoHeels2015

Joined: Jul 28, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Karen Hamou Went Above and Beyond!

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If I could back in time, I would have met Karen sooner! Coming out of an unsuccessful MBA application year, I decided to seek out help. I signed up for numerous introductory sessions with MBA consultants, but Karen stood out from the rest! From the start, Karen was proactive, attentive, and thoughtful. She took the time to understand my background and helped me put my best foot forward for my essays, resume, and interview prep. Most importantly, I never felt misguided or pushed, and because of this, Karen was someone I could trust. There's so much more I want to say, but ultimately, Karen was a joy to work with, and I am happy to announce that I will be attending Wharton (my top choice) this August.

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January 20, 2021
MBAapplicant527

Joined: Jan 20, 2021

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Do yourself a favor and work with Karen! (HBS and Sloan admit)

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I do not think I would have gotten into both Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan without Karen's help. I was very hesitant to use a consultant service and came to Karen very late in the process. I was fairly confident about the strength of my story and credentials but Karen truly took me to the next level as an applicant. From essays to resumes, every part of my application was elevated by Karen's sharp and strategic reviews. Even her mock interview was incredibly rigorous and effective for my preparation.

Whether you need tactical help to get you over the edge or a full application roadmap, I strongly encourage you to work with Karen. She has an endless wealth of knowledge about the MBA process and is a pleasure to work with.

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January 20, 2021
Shishou

Joined: Jun 10, 2019

Posts: 110

Kudos: 90

Thanks so much Karen-from a Wharton and CBS admit

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When I decided to apply to Wharton, Columbia, and Chicago Booth, I thought getting into any of these programs would be next to impossible for someone with my background. Now, after working with Karen for my Round 1 admissions-class of 2023-I have offers from both Wharton and Columbia in what was the most competitive app cycle in years. I still can’t believe it.

Throughout the application process, Karen was phenomenal and supportive, especially because I didn’t believe in my own candidacy. She did. Karen sharpened my resume, drew out my personal history and stories and had me tell them as clearly as possible in my essays. More, her understanding of what it takes to get into these top programs gave me a significant edge. This manifested in her relentlessness in ensuring that each draft of my essay and resume strengthened my candidacy and ensured that I stand out in the broader applicant pool.

Karen was also quite hands on with my interview prep for all three schools. I remember, she went to great lengths to ensure I was familiar with Wharton's Team Based Discussion and organized a mock TBD just so I could get a feel for what to expect on interview day. With her guidance, I scaled all three interviews.

Honestly, what I am most sure of is that I likely wouldn’t have received any of these offers without her guidance. Thanks Karen.

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January 19, 2021
ld00024

Joined: Jul 19, 2020

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
640 Q43 V35 (Online)

Consultant Review

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Karen was fantastic- from the initial kick off call, she helped me craft my overall story. I didn't initially have clarity on my post-MBA goals, but with her consultation, I was able to pull together a clear narrative. Had I done it all by myself, I would've second guessed a lot of the content in my essays. She'll never do the work for you, but once you put pen to paper, she is incredibly helpful. The editing process was very simple and straightforward thanks to her help. I would send her my revisions at night and have her new edits early in the morning. She always made herself available, be it for a one-off question or for a more in-depth session. I was ultimately accepted to my first choice school and I couldn't have done it without her help!

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January 19, 2021
singh23

Joined: Jan 19, 2021

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
730 Q48 V41

There's only one Karen Hamou!

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What can I say in this review that hasn't already been said by the plethora of success stories on this page?

Karen is absolutely amazing - from day one, I felt that she believed in me, and my ability to get into a top M7 program.

While other highly ranked consultants I had previously spoken with told me to increase my GMAT score to compensate for my demographic, Karen believed in the uniqueness of my story, and gave her full dedication to helping me to bring it to life!

Given the circumstances last year, the journey for a 2021 applicant was not always straightforward or predictable - a few short weeks after we started working together, offices went remote and our entire company had to pivot its business model and ways of working. When certain milestones had to be pushed back, Karen was always flexible and made herself available to provide feedback whenever I needed her. Throughout the time we worked together, I felt that Karen was highly knowledgable, patient, empathetic, and fully committed to making this application process a success. Throughout the twists and turns of 2020, Karen was there to support me every step of the way!

I was so thrilled when I got the interview invite, and Karen worked with me on a very accelerated timeline to get me ready for the final interview.

I was so thrilled to get accepted to my school of choice and to be admitted into an M7 MBA program.

I can't imagine a better consultant to work with, and would wholeheartedly recommend Karen Hamou to anyone!

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January 19, 2021
nomarman2000

Joined: Dec 30, 2019

Posts: 3

Kudos: 5

Incredible Experience With Karen

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Coming into the MBA application process I had virtually no idea what to expect. I was quickly overwhelmed by the amount of information out there, so I made the decision to work with a consultant. Karen was one of the first consultants that I spoke with, but even after speaking with over ten others, I definitely felt the most comfortable with her. Deciding to work with Karen turned out to be one of the best decisions that I’ve made.

Karen has been there every step of the way, frequently going above and beyond to help me with every aspect of the application process. Karen’s insights and suggestions for my essays and overall narrative have been extremely helpful, as she’s really worked with me to craft a fluid and convincing story. Her feedback is extremely thorough and detailed, but she also never fails to view each individual piece of the application in the context of the broader picture. Beyond her help with the essays, Karen has been there to answer every question that I’ve had, no matter how trivial. I cannot emphasize enough how quickly she responds to my questions, and how amazing her overall work ethic is. Karen has been an incredibly effective guide throughout this stressful time, and has offered reassuring, but honest, advice each step of the way.

Karen is exceedingly organized, very personable and friendly, and great at crafting compelling stories. I cannot recommend her highly enough, as with her guidance and support I’ve been admitted to two of my top choices. I don’t know what it’s like to work with other consultants, but I can’t imagine finding a better one than Karen!

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